Aquatic Ecophysiology Research Platform

Respirometry experiments conducted on adult red roman Sorting fish and invertebrate larvae using microscopes to conduct respirometry experiments Heart rate experiments conducted on adult blacktail
Re-circulating system used to conduct thermal based studies on juvenile fish and invertebrates Deploying light traps to collect fish and invertebrate larvae Fish larvae in microplate chambers used for respirometry experiments

A laboratory of the Aquatic Genonomics Research Platform.

The Aquatic Ecophysiology Research Platform (AERP) was established in 2014 after the development of a formal collaboration with the South African Institute of Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) and Rhodes University, Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS) to provide researchers with the tools to determine the effect of global climate change on the relationship between living organisms and their surrounding environment, how these effects are likely to unfold and what actions might prevent their effect in the future.

Although global in scale, the effects of climate change are experienced at the organismal level and can have negative effects on the survival of aquatic organisms. At the AERP, we aim to investigate these micro inhabitants of our aquatic environments and discover what effect climate change has on juvenile life stages and the potential impact this will have on the survival of their adult stages.

The AERP aims to provide a benchmark for experimental and analytical approaches in the ecophysiology of aquatic and marine organisms. Initial studies have focused on the effects of water temperature and pH on the development, physiology and behaviour of marine fish and invertebrates. The platform facilitates such eco-physiological research by providing controlled environment rooms, biochemistry, water quality analysis capacity and respirometry based measurement systems.

The research conducted at the AERP uniquely tackles the ecological issues behind climate change in a selection of sensitive aquatic systems, while determining the most vulnerable life history stages of distinct species. This approach is unusual and possibly unique for aquatic research in the country.

For more information contact:

Seshnee Reddy

Laboratory Coordinator

Tel: +27 46 603 7789

Email: s.reddy[at]saiab.ac.za